By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
GOSPORT Borough Council has taken steps to get more than two dozen ‘unauthorised’ vehicles removed from an area just off the A32 Brockhurst Road.
According to the council, many residents in Norfolk Road have been unable to get access to their garages, use private parking spaces, or park in public spaces on the road due to the parked vehicles.
This week, warning letters – issued in accordance with Section 43 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 – were attached to 25 vehicles in the road and a private parking area.
The letters – dated December 13 – detail the offending parking as: blocking access to certain houses, preventing lawful use of garages, causing or allowing spillages of oil and storing vehicles with no tax, insurance or MoT on Norfolk Road and adjacent land.
As well as stating that the borough council is satisfied the parking of the vehicles is, “unreasonable conduct which is persistent and/or continuing in nature”, the letters require the vehicles to be removed within 28 days.
By Saturday – December 18 – it seemed that many of the vehicles had been removed but at least six cars and vans remained still displaying the warning notices.
If the vehicles are not removed within the 28 days, the council warns it will issue a community protection notice for anti-social behaviour. If this is not obeyed, court action can follow, with a possible fine of thousands of pounds.
Gosport Borough Council Leader Councillor Graham Burgess said: “We can’t let this situation go on, with local people unable to park or get access to their property. Because the problem is on such a large scale, and is affecting people’s lives, we’re dealing with it as serious anti-social behaviour.
“These warning letters are the first step in tackling the situation and we hope they will have the desired effect. If not, we can take further legal action.”
The next step open to the council would be to issue a community protection notice for anti-social behaviour. If this is not obeyed, legal proceedings could follow with a possible fine of thousands of pounds.
The action taken by the council has been backed by Hampshire Constabulary.
Sergeant Alison Zachs said: “We acknowledge the impact on local residents’ lives caused by these issues. We will continue to work closely with our partners in the local authority to support them in addressing matters that are affecting our communities.”
In February 2017 – following a meeting called by MP Caroline Dinenage and involving the council, Hampshire County Council, the police and the DVLA – action was taken to remove abandoned, untaxed and illegally parked vehicles in Kingsley Road and The Shrubbery.
These two roads are on the other side of the A32 Brockhurst Road from Norfolk Road.
Photograph (top): two cars displaying the warning letters